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"Actually, I think this is the best Grammys we've ever seen."
——Bono

GRAMMY RESULTS: COMPANY TOWN

The 47th Edition of the Show Was Quite Possibly the Most Watchable Grammys Ever
Producer Ken Ehrlich hit several home runs, as he'd hoped in an interview last week, during a Grammy Awards show that alternated panoramic production numbers and touching moments.

"Actually," said, Bono as U2 picked up the best rock song Grammy they so deserved for "Vertigo," "I think this is the best Grammys we've ever seen."

The night's most poignant moment came when a hairless Melissa Etheridge, in her first performance since announcing she had breast cancer, channeled Janis Joplin in a stunning performance of the legend's trademark "Piece of My Heart."

Speaking of poignancy, Genius Loves Company, Ray Charles' final and best-selling album, also became his most honored last night, picking up eight Grammys, including the two biggies, album of the year and record of the year for "Here We Go Again," his duet with Norah Jones.

Alicia Keys, who won five Grammys for her debut album, Songs in A Minor, nearly repeated the feat, receiving four for the follow-up, The Diary of Alicia Keys. Usher’s shutout in the major categories was a surprise to the prognosticators; he scored three out of the eight he was nominated for, but had to share one those—for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals—with Keys for "My Boo." A longshot who came in was John Mayer, whose “Daughters” took song of the year and male pop vocal. Kanye West, nominated for 10 Grammys, took rap album for College Dropout and rap song for "Jesus Walks," and that seemed to be enough to satisfy him. Many had West tapped for best new artist as well, but that award went to blue-eyed soulsters Maroon 5.

After a dramatic performance of "Jesus Walks," West delivered the evening's most insightful acceptance speech as he brandished the rap album trophy. "When I had my accident, I found out at that moment nothing in life is promised except death," he said. "If you have the opportunity to play this game of life, you need to appreciate every moment. A lot of people don't appreciate the moment until it's passed."

The big feel-good moment came when 70-year-old Loretta Lynn won country album of the year for the critically acclaimed Van Lear Rose and charmed the pants off everybody—including collaborator Jack White—during her characteristically homespun acceptance speech.

Otherwise, the awards were scattered around in generally satisfying fashion: Green Day took best rock album and Los Lonely Boys scored for pop performance by a group, while Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Velvet Revolver got the rock and hard equivalents. Wilco, Gretchen Wilson and Jay-Z scored with the Academy as well as the critics for A Ghost Is Born, "Redneck Woman" and "99 Problems," respectively. Brian Wilson won for rock instrumental, of all things, Steve Earle and Rod Stewart were first-time winners, and even Britney Spears took one home.

The big payoff of the southern rock-meets-modern country segment was supposed to be when Tim McGraw came onstage to join Dickie Betts on “Ramblin’ Man,” but McGraw was upstaged by Australia’s Keith Urban, who sang his ass off, shredded on guitar, oozed charisma and generally looked like he belonged up there with all the grizzled veterans.

Earlier, Zach Braff rightly won for best compilation soundtrack album with his zeitgeist-capturing Garden State. "Wow! I never thought I'd win a Grammy—that is pretty cool! Yeah!" he said. Inexplicably, Jon Stewart beat out Come Poop With Me by Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; given Triumph’s M.O., we certainly haven’t heard the last of this miscarriage of justice.

RECORD OF THE YEAR
“Here We Go Again,” Ray Charles & Norah Jones
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Genius Loves Company, Ray Charles & Various Artists
SONG OF THE YEAR
“Daughters,” John Mayer
BEST NEW ARTIST
Maroon 5
BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Sunrise,” Norah Jones
BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Daughters,” John Mayer
BEST POP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL
“Heaven,” Los Lonely Boys
BEST POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
“Here We Go Again,” Ray Charles & Norah Jones
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Genius Loves Company, Ray Charles & Various Artists
BEST DANCE RECORDING
“Toxic,” Britney Spears
BEST ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM
Kish Kash, Basement Jaxx
BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
Stardust...The Great American Songbook Volume III, Rod Stewart
BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Code of Silence,” Bruce Springsteen
BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL
“Monkey to Man,” Elvis Costello & The Imposters
BEST HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE
“Slither,” Velvet Revolver
BEST METAL PERFORMANCE
“Whiplash,” Motörhead
BEST ROCK INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE
“Mrs. O'Leary's Cow,” Brian Wilson
BEST ROCK SONG
“Vertigo,” U2
BEST ROCK ALBUM
American Idiot, Green Day
BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
A Ghost Is Born, Wilco
BEST FEMALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“If I Ain't Got You,” Alicia Keys
BEST MALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Call My Name,” Prince
BEST R&B PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL
“My Boo,” Usher & Alicia Keys
BEST TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE
“Musicology,” Prince
BEST R&B SONG
“You Don't Know My Name,” Alicia Keys
BEST R&B ALBUM
The Diary Of Alicia Keys, Alicia Keys
BEST CONTEMPORARY R&B ALBUM
Confessions, Usher
BEST RAP SOLO PERFORMANCE
“99 Problems,” Jay-Z
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP
“Let's Get It Started,” The Black Eyed Peas
BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
“Yeah!,” Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris
BEST RAP SONG
“Jesus Walks,” Kanye West
BEST RAP ALBUM
The College Dropout, Kanye West
BEST FEMALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Redneck Woman,” Gretchen Wilson
BEST MALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Live Like You Were Dying,” Tim McGraw
BEST COUNTRY PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL
“Top of the World,” Dixie Chicks
BEST COUNTRY COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
“Portland Oregon,” Loretta Lynn & Jack White
BEST COUNTRY SONG
“Live Like You Were Dying,” Tim McGraw
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn
BEST TRADITIONAL BLUES ALBUM
Blues to the Bone, Etta James
BEST CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUM
Keep It Simple, Keb’ Mo’
BEST TRADITIONAL FOLK ALBUM
Beautiful Dreamer - The Songs Of Stephen Foster, Steve Fishell & David Macias, producers
BEST CONTEMPORARY FOLK ALBUM
The Revolution Starts...Now, Steve Earle
BEST REGGAE ALBUM
True Love, Toots & the Maytals
BEST CONTEMPORARY WORLD MUSIC ALBUM
Egypt, Youssou N'Dour
BEST COMEDY ALBUM
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents...America: A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction, Jon Stewart and the cast of The Daily Show
BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK ALBUM FOR A MOTION PICTURE, TELEVISION OR OTHER VISUAL MEDIA
Garden State, Zach Braff, producer
BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK ALBUM FOR A MOTION PICTURE, TELEVISION OR OTHER VISUAL MEDIA
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King, Howard Shore
BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR A MOTION PICTURE, TELEVISION OR OTHER VISUAL MEDIA
“Into the West” (from The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King), Annie Lennox
BEST RECORDING PACKAGE
A Ghost Is Born, Peter Buchanan-Smith & Dan Nadel, art directors (Wilco)
BEST BOXED OR SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE
Once in a Lifetime, Stefan Sagmeister, art director (Talking Heads)
BEST ALBUM NOTES
The Complete Columbia Recordings Of Woody Herman and His Orchestra & Woodchoppers (1945-1947), Loren Schoenberg, album notes writer
BEST HISTORICAL ALBUM
Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970, Daniel Cooper & Michael Gray, compilation producers; Joseph M. Palmaccio & Alan Stoker, mastering engineers
BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, NON-CLASSICAL
Genius Loves Company, Robert Fernandez, John Harris, Terry Howard, Pete Karam, Joel Moss, Al Schmitt & Ed Thacker, engineers
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL
John Shanks (for Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Hilary Duff, Robbie Robertson and Alanis Morissette)
BEST REMIXED RECORDING, NON-CLASSICAL
“It's My Life” (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix), Jacques Lu Cont (No Doubt)
BEST SURROUND SOUND ALBUM
Genius Loves Company, Al Schmitt, surround mix engineer; Robert Hadley & Doug Sax, surround mastering engineers; John Burk, Phil Ramone & Herbert Waltl, surround producers
BEST SHORT FORM MUSIC VIDEO
“Vertigo,” U2; Alex & Martin, director; Grace Bodie, producer
BEST LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO
Concert for George, David Leland, director; Ray Cooper, Olivia Harrison & Jon Kamen, producers